Defeated by members of the Losers’ Club, the evil clown Pennywise returns 27 years later to terrorize the town of Derry, Maine, once again. Now adults, the childhood friends have long since gone their separate ways. But when people start disappearing, Mike Hanlon calls the others home for one final stand. Damaged by scars from the past, the united Losers must conquer their deepest fears to destroy the shape-shifting Pennywise — now more powerful than ever.
Plot: Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.
Director: Andy Muschietti
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Runtime: 169 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: It: Chapter Two proves bigger doesn’t always mean scarier for horror sequels, but a fine cast and faithful approach to the source material keep this follow-up afloat.
“The epic conclusion, 27 years in the making.”
This movie was shot with Arri Alexa Mini & SXT cameras in 3.4k & 2.8k and ultimately finished as a 2K Digital Intermediate — that means you will get an upscaled image on this release. As per the norm with UHD releases, it was also given a HDR color grade for your viewing pleasure in both Dolby Vision & HDR10+. Beyond that, you do get a pretty clean image through most of the film, there are some scenes with slight visible grain, but I’m assuming it’s only there to hold the filmatic purpose the director was looking for.
I want to start out saying that the Blu-ray disc looks good, but you can really see the sharpness, enhanced detail and HDR usage on the 4K UHD disc — it’s a noticeable difference. I brought that up because it was a topic of discussion when the first IT arrived on 4K last year. Reviewers were saying that the jump wasn’t too dramatic and the only main reason to upgrade was the HDR. If you were one of those people, rest assured, this is an all around upgrade worth the money in your pocket.
As usual, the 4K UHD disc brings out individual characteristics like winkles, facial blemishes, beard stubble, makeup, sweat, etc. There aren’t many of those ‘in your face’ moments, but there are scattered highlights that will catch your attention. Beyond that the contrast, shadow and depth is apparent in all of the dark scenes — it’s not demo material, but it’s highly consistent and rock-solid — you got to love stability.
Lastly, the CGI holds up too, especially in all of the character’s individual scenes with Pennywise — the only time it was slightly noticeable was during Richie’s scene when he was being chased. (You may not notice it, but I was really looking for it.) Like I said, every other character’s scene looked great. All good things, all good things.
Here’s what I jotted down:
The opening shots of Derry are full of a variety of fall colors including oranges, greens and reds — the small town gives off a warm-sepia like tone whenever the characters are outside during the day. As a matter of fact, all the shots around town look during the film look great, even lush when the Losers are walking through the forest to find their old hideout. As you know, this movie is mostly dark, so outside of the few daytime shots in Derry, there won’t be too much POP! in color.
Chapter 4, when the Losers meet up for the first time as adults might be the most colorful scene that takes place at night. Here you’ll get highlights of the neon lights outside of the restaurant, plus the palate inside looks great with a variety of reds, browns, textures, etc. (It’s not exciting, just noticeable.) In Chapter 5 you will see some of some great contrast and detail with the little girl and Pennywise under the bleachers — the scene is extremely dark with the only light coming from the glow of a firefly in Pennywise’s hands. The HDR is fantastic and the close up of the clown shows detail down to the paint and wrinkles on his face. Another scene similar to this is in Chapter 9 when Ben is walking down the dark hallways of his school — more looks of great contrast in low light and the the white paint of Pennywise looks fantastic.
As you know, the final scenes of the movie take place in a dark cave — this is really where you can see the use of HDR work it’s magic because the entire scene is only lit from the leaks of light coming in from stories above. It’s unfortunate that I can’t list amazing HDR showcase scenes or ‘out-of-this-world’ detail — just know it’s a solid 8.5/10 across the board in everything a 4K disc needs to do!
When the first Chapter of IT hit theaters in September of 2017 it took the world by storm. It not only had great critical reviews and audience scores, but a great cast and and over $700 million at the box office on a $35 million budget. Everything was pretty close to picture perfect, but with a sequel (as history likes to mark itself) things always seem to change. Good news is that IT: Chapter Two doesn’t fall off terribly in the wrong direction, but it isn’t as good as the first and it made $200 million less at the box office. What gives?
I believe the barrier to enter was at a premium; not only do you have to like the horror genre, but you had to have seen the first and, even more, you’ll need to be able to sit down and watch a three hour movie at the theater. It’s not impossible, but the idea of waiting to watch the conclusion at home probably hit the minds of some. As a side note, I think the first IT had more re-watchability — I saw it twice in theater because of the WOW! factor it gave me. IT: Chapter Two was still great, I’m just curious if anyone saw it twice (because of it’s length) which might have lead to less money at the box office.
Being such a big fan of both of these films, I’d rather speak on some constructive criticisms of instead of continuously complimenting the movie to bore you off of this post. IT: Chapter Two did have many great moments and sequences, but when they arrived I felt they were rushed due to the slow-burn first half of the film. These sequences hit scene after scene so fast that it took out, at least for me, some of the dark atmosphere of Derry. I understand it’s there, but I wanted it to be more evident on screen. The time we spend on the Losers and the emotional traumas they are trying to overcome would have been better complimented with more scenes of dread lurking around Derry — like the scene under the bleachers.
There are some flaws, but overall, it’s an epic conclusion, 27 years in the making. If you’ve never seen the first and can stomach horror films, I recommend you double dose this one weekend you have free — it’s worth it. I enjoyed this movie thoroughly, so you have my recommendation to pick up IT: Chapter Two right when it releases on home video. Not only is it a great 4K UHD disc and a seamless follow up to the first movie, but it’s an amazing wrap up of the story behind the Losers and Pennywise the clown. Make sure you grab it at your local retailer when it releases on 4K & Blu-ray December 10th.
There’s a rumored super cut of both films coming soon, but if that doesn’t arrive, I’m still looking forward to next Halloween season to sit down one weekend and watch these two movies back to back. It’s a good five hour epic if you consume it all at once — the first chapter opens the book and the second chapter closes it.
Did you catch IT: Chapter 2 in the theater? Did you see it twice? Were you a fan of this movie? Will you be picking it up to own? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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